The successor of the Ludwig-Danube-Main Canal is the Main-Danube Canal, also called the Europe Canal. It also runs from Kelheim to Bamberg and with a length of 171 km it is just one kilometre shorter than the Old Canal. Its summit level at about 406 m over sea level is 11 m lower than the summit level of the Ludwig’s Canal. However, the similarities end here.
The completion of the Europe Canal took 32 years. Between 1960 and 1972 the part from Bamberg to Nuremberg was built, and during the 70s and the 80s the length towards Kelheim. The last section was opened on 25 September 1992. Instead of 100 locks the New Canal has only 16, each with a vertical lift of up to 25 meters. The locks are 12 m broad, 190 m long and can lift more than 3,300 tons. In comparison the 120 - 150 years earlier locks of King Ludwig’s Canal are almost tiny: 32.5 meters long and 4.75 meters wide.
The building of the Main-Danube Canal has partly destroyed a very beautiful landscape mainly inside Ottmaringer and Altmühl Valley. Among other things large parts of the Old Canal fell victim to it in this area. On the other side one must also see, that transport via waterways is one of the most environmentally friendly, safest and most cost-saving methods of moving bulk goods.